HISTORICAL POSTCARDS OF SPRINGFIELD, MISSOURI
Springfield Hospital was built in 1904 at 440 South Market and opened for business in January of 1905. The hospital also had a nursing school. The first class of nurses graduated April 10, 1907, with four nurses earning diplomas. The building was constructed of concrete and steel, with concrete floors and stairs.
In 1923, a major portion of the hospital's stock was purchased by Baptist laymen and physicians in an effort to convey title to the Baptist Church. In June of 1925 the hospital, now Springfield Baptist Hospital, made additions and improvements to the building. An elevator was installed in the four-story building. Later in the 1920s a rectangular north wing was added to the building. In the 1930s a connecting one-story area which served as the entrance and lobby was built. In 1950 this lobby area was removed and a new lobby was built. An addition was added which increased the number of beds in the hospital from 100 to 135. There was a new reception area, administrative offices, pharmacy, physical and occupational therapy centers and a glassed-in coffee shop at street level.
In August 1964 the last class of nurses graduated from Springfield Baptist Hospital's School of Nursing. Six students graduated. In 1965 more building was done on the hospital, including a new modern faï¿½ade and new lobby. Fifty patient beds were also added.
Springfield Baptist Hospital made history in 1961 when its surgeons performed the first open-heart surgery in Springfield. It was done on Gregg Tokarczyk, an eight-year-old boy from Springfield.
In 1972 QualiCare Inc., a New Orleans-based hospital management firm, took over Springfield Baptist Hospital. The name was changed to Park Central Hospital in 1973. In 1990 the hospital's name was Lakeland Regional Hospital and since then has emphasized psychiatric care. In 1996 the hospital became part of the Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corporation of Louisville, Kentucky.